Queen of Tarot

the ancient wisdom of the cards.

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Consiglio

Source: Tarocchi by Philebus

Consiglio died out in the mid 19th century, which is a shame as it certainly has its place in a card player’s repertoire. If you have friends whose style of play leans towards the hopelessly informal, to the point of discussing their hand with their partner, then, Bindi and Jossie, this game is for you!

The game is for four players in partnerships but is unusual in that partners sit next to one another, facing their opponents. Further, partners are free to discuss their hands and strategy openly, albeit in quite tones. This can make it particularly suitable for new players, still unsure of the cards or style of play.

The Cards

This was played with an Italian suited pack but any 78 card pack will do, depending upon which type of cards you intend playing with the most. You might even like to try alternating them.

So, we have a Fool, 21 numbered trumps, and then

Spades & Clubs / Swords & Batons
K, Q, C, V, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Hearts & Diamonds / Cups & Coins
K, Q, C, V, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Honours 5 points
Kings 5 points
Queens 4 points
Cavaliers 3 points
Valets 2 points
All others 1 point

Count the card points in groups of four minus three points - count the odd two cards as if they were four, deducting 3 points from their total. This gives 72 card points.

Deal

First Dealer is chosen at random and then moves to the right after each hand. Each player is dealt 19 cards in one packet of 4 and then two packets of 5. Dealer takes the last 2 cards and then discards 2 into a scart that will count towards Dealer’s side’s tricks. The discards may not include Kings, Honours, or, unless it there is no alternative, trumps.

Play

Eldest, the player to Dealer’s right, leads to the first trick, playing any card in his/her hand to the middle of the table. Each player in turn, moving to the right, must then play a card of the same suit (follow suit). If a player cannot follow suit, then they must play a trump, if they cannot play a trump, then they can play any card, though it will not win. If no trumps have been played, then the highest card of the suit led wins the trick and that player takes the cards and puts them into his/her trick pile. Otherwise, the highest trump played wins the trick.

The Fool may be played to any trick as an excuse for not playing a card you are otherwise obliged to play, but may be neither won nor lost. At the end of a trick to which the Fool has been played, the person who played it takes it into his/her own trick pile and gives the player who won the trick, an empty card from their trick pile in exchange.

At all times, partners may quietly confer to discuss their hand and strategy.

Scores

A game consists of four hands, with each player taking a turn to deal. There are two ways to score the game. In the first, partnerships simply total their card points won for all four hands, with the highest total winning - perhaps a fixed stake. The other is for each side to win or lose points taken over or below 36 for each hand.

You may also score a bonus of 10 points for winning the last trick with the Pagat - and lose 10 points if the Pagat is lost in the last trick.

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